LECHLADE began their pre-season preparations on Saturday with a three-wicket victory at WEPL Premier Two side Cheltenham.

Half-centuries from Ollie Thornley (54), on debut, and captain Joe Breet (70) set the riverside club up for an opening day success.

Lechlade had restricted the hosts to 207-9 in their 50 overs with an athletic performance in the field, which saw two Cheltenham batsmen run out by Thornley.

The Lechlade bowlers shared the wickets, with Freddie Martin picking up 3-22, Willy Nichols a brace and Luke Sellers and Asanka Vithange bagging one apiece.

In reply, Lechlade got off to a shaky start when Martin played on third ball but Thornley batted patiently with Nichols (33) to rebuild the innings and laid the foundations for Breet to capitalise on some lose Cheltenham bowling.

Thornley scored his 54 off 74 balls with Breet’s 70 coming off 62. With the loss of Thornley and Breet, Lechlade were 191-4 and 17 runs short of victory. The visitors then stuttered over the line, taking eight overs and losing three wickets before securing the win.

Breet said after the game: “It was great to get off to a winning start and blow some of the cobwebs off.

“I think we performed quite well and it was good to see some of the things we have worked on during the winter come good. Ollie (Thornley) had a very impressive debut and showed great patience in his innings at the start and I’m very pleased for him.”

Lechlade host Potterne next Saturday at the Manor Ground and Corsham the week after before embarking on the league season proper with a trip to Gloucester City Winget on the May 3.